Capacity Building for a Program in Water Resources Management in Gaza and the West Bank

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Nov 9, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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Capacity Building for a


Program in Water Resources Management in


Gaza and the West Bank






Submitted to the ALO/USAID Program:


Partnering with Higher Education for International Development


U.S.
-
Palestinian Linkages (UPLINK) Program


by


Purdue Uni
versity

West Lafayette, Indiana, USA


The Islamic University of Gaza

Gaza, Palestine


Bethlehem University

Bethlehem, Palestine


An
-
Najah National University

Nablus, Palestine





September 26, 2000




2


PARTNERING WITH HIGHER EDUCATION

FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVE
LOPMENT


2000 Special Request for Proposals:

U.S.
-
Palestinian Linkages (UPLINK) Program


1.

Lead U.S. Institution:
Purdue University


2.

Project Director:
Dr.

David J. Sammons

Title: Associate Dean and Director, International Programs in Agriculture

Address:

International Programs in Agriculture



1168 Agricultural Administration



Purdue University



West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
-
1168

Telephone: (765) 494
-
8466 Fax: (765) 494
-
9613

E
-
mail: DJS@AGAD.PURDUE.EDU


3.

Lead Higher Education Partner in
the West Bank/Gaza:
The Islamic
University


4.

Project Director:
Dr. Mohammad Ramadan Al
-
Agha

Title: Associate Professor and Head of Environmental and Earth Sciences

Address: The Islamic University


P.O. Box 108


Gaza Strip,

Palestine

Telephone: (972) (7) 2863 554 Fax: (972) (7) 2863 552

E
-
mail: MALAGHA@MAIL.IUGAZA.EDU


5.

Other cooperating U.S. institutions:
N/A


6.

Name of Proposed Project:
Capacity Building for a Program in Water
Resources Management in Gaza and the West Ban
k


7.

Funds requested: $100,000


8.

Matching funds and resources from U.S. institutional partners: $36,204


9.

Project partners other than higher education institutions:


Palestinian Water Authority, Gaza




3


10.

Executive summary: attached


11.

Do project directors have I
nternet access? YES


12.

Signatures:


David J. Sammons



_____________________

__________

Lead U.S. Project Director

Signature





Date


Associate Dean & Director, International Programs in Agriculture

Lead U.S. Project Director Title



Mohammad Al
-
Agha


____
_________________

__________

Cooperating Institution


Signature




Date

Project Director


Associate Professor and Head of Environmental and Earth Sciences Dept.

Cooperating Institution Project Director Title



Rebecca White



_____________________

________
__

U.S. Institution CEO


Signature




Date

Designee


Business Manager, Sponsored Programs Services

U.S. Institution CEO Designee Title



Mohammed E. Shubair


_ (attached)____________

__________

Cooperating Institution CEO

Signature




Date



President, Th
e Islamic University

Cooperating Institution CEO Title







4


Capacity Building for a Program in Water Resources Management

in Gaza and the West Bank



Executive Summary

Water is a key resource that is essential for economic development, agricultural
produ
ctivity, industrial growth, and human well
-
being. Gaza and the West Bank (G&WB)
regions are confronted by major water shortage and water quality concerns. Purdue University
and its University partners in G&WB (Islamic University of Gaza, Bethlehem Universi
ty, An
-
Najah University) propose to address these related issues through a joint effort to establish a
Program in Water Resources Management at the Islamic University of Gaza that will have a new
M.Sc. degree curriculum at its core. The other two G&WB univ
ersity partners will be affiliated
with the program. The

mission of the Program

will be to provide needed expertise and training
to optimize water use and to manage water resources in the G&WB region. The program will
provide educational support as well as

technical assistance, outreach, and applied research
services to meet the critical water resource and management needs in the region. Program
delivery will make use of both conventional and information technology (IT) methodology to
assure broad access an
d use of the Program. The
long
-
term goal
of the cooperative arrangement
is to build a sustainable relationship that will ultimately lead to the establishment of a formal
Center for Water Resources Management in G&WB.

This project addresses the targeted ne
ed area identified in the UPLINK request for
propo
s
als: “
Greater Access to and More Efficient Use of Scarce Water Resources.”




5


Capacity Building for a Program in Water Resources Management

in Gaza and the West Bank

Project Description

Water is vital to
every human community and is an essential resource for economic
development, agricultural productivity, industrial growth, and human well
-
being. The
availability of a clean, safe, and secure water source has been, and will always be, a major
concern for hu
man populations. The proposed project will address these issues by drawing on the
expertise resident in the consortium of universities who are submitting this proposal. The
consortium is intended to marshal the resources, expertise, and capacity of higher
education to
serve as a key partner in the development process.

Although water
quality

has been a major concern in many communities, an additional,
and perhaps larger, concern in arid and semi
-
arid areas of the world is water
availability
. Annual
rainfall

in the Middle East is very low relative to potential evapotranspiration. In addition,
available water resources are often difficult to exploit because of non
-
uniform distribution over
time and space. Climate variability is perhaps the most common and unpr
edictable problem that
faces the region and this reality increases the risk associated with sustainable economic growth in
such regions. Most rainfall in these areas occurs sporadically and is characterized by wide annual
and seasonal variations. Gaza and

the West Bank are no exceptions to this significant risk in the
arid/semi
-
arid regions of the world.

In addition to concerns about water availability, Gaza and the West Bank confront severe
water
quality

problems. Water quality issues must be a focus for
sustainable agricultural
development. Human water needs for domestic purposes are also a major concern. Currently,
many of the available surface water resources are unfit for human use because of significant
contamination that originates from sewers and wa
stewater. The lack of infrastructure for


6


wastewater treatment is an important issue. Lack of environmental and public health education
further confounds these problems. Although industrial pollution has not yet been identified as an
environmental concern i
n G&WB, it may well become a water quality threat if development
does not proceed with careful planning.

Additionally, since water in the G&WB region is a shared resource, there is an important
political dimension to water resource management. Water has b
een a source of conflict and
controversy both in this region and around the world. The lack of definitive laws that govern
international water resources and their use has always been a challenge, one that is impacted by
political as well as technical consi
derations.

Purdue University and its G&WB partners (Islamic University of Gaza; An
-
Najah
National University; Bethlehem University) propose to address the water resource management
needs in the region by establishing a formal jointly
-
administered Program
in Water Resources
Management at the Islamic University of Gaza (IU/Gaza). The
mission

of the Program
, once
established, will be to provide needed expertise and training to optimize water use and to manage
the water resources in the region. In addition to
the University partners, the Palestinian Water
Authority (PWA) will be a public sector partner in this effort. Inclusion of the PWA in the
project will insure that the proposed Program in Water Resources Management is responsive to
critical

needs

in G&WB.
Over the long term, with the cooperation of all university and public
sector partners, it is anticipated that the Program will evolve into a permanent Center at IU/Gaza
with other G&WB universities positioned as formal affiliate members. External funds fr
om
governmental and non
-
governmental sources will be sought to provide the needed resource base
to sustain the activity beyond the duration of this initial project.



7


The establishment of the Program in Water Resources Management at IU/Gaza will make
an imp
ortant contribution to regional development. Effective management of current water
resources and assurance of sustainability of water quality from both technical and social
perspectives are keys to regional development. The program that we propose will add
ress both
the social and the technical issues that impact water resources in the region. Universities, which
have much to contribute to economic and human resource development, will be the drivers of the
activities proposed here. They have played and can c
ontinue to play a valuable and non
-
political
role in assisting with management of this essential resource.

Proposed Functions/Objectives of the Program in Water Resources Management

The Program will function as an interdisciplinary academic unit located w
ithin the faculty of
the Islamic University of Gaza (linked initially to Bethlehem University and An
-
Najah
University but ultimately bringing additional G&WB universities into a network/consortium over
the long term). The Program in Water Resources Managem
ent, which will consist of several
elements described below, will offer the following services and activities both in formal
institutional settings and
via

a web
-
based IT program delivery mechanism that will assure broad
access to the Program elements:

1.
an M.Sc. degree program in water resource management offered through IU/Gaza and the two
other partner institutions on the West Bank with advisory support from faculty at Purdue
University;

2. a technical training and capacity
-
building support service for
the Palestinian Water Authority
and other water professionals, including government officials who have responsibilities for water
resource management offered as an outreach activity by the cooperating universities;



8


3. a non
-
degree training program for staf
f of the Program in Water Resources Management to
prepare them to serve in an outreach capacity to provide public education on environmental and
health issues relative to water management;

4. an interdisciplinary applied research program to address critic
al problems in water resource
management in the region, including such issues as water recycling, water harvesting, sanitation,
wastewater treatment, water pollution abatement, etc.

Project Dissemination Plan

Dissemination of the project developments a
nd results are fundamental to the proposal.
The training activities (both formaland non
-
formal) will be WWW
-
based and thus will be widely
accessible to educators and water sector personnel throughout the region. The WWW addresses
of the materials will be
registered to allow search engines to easily locate these materials. Two
formal workshops to introduce the Program to educators, technical personnel who serve the
water sector, and the general public, including community leaders, in G&WB will be conducted

during the second year (for further details about planned dissemination activities see section
which follows, item #6).

Manuals including skills and expertise needed by water authority personnel will be
developed and disseminated. Input obtained from uni
versity team and Palestinian water authority
personnel will be reviewed and updated annually to assure that the educational program meets
the actual needs of the area.

Procedures to Achieve Objectives

To achieve the stated goals we propose the following s
ix tasks in sequence for the
lifetime of this project (December 20, 2000


September 30, 2002):




9


1. Planning visit and needs assessment

(1 week


January or February 2001)

The Purdue University team will visit Gaza and the West Bank to review the current
w
ater management curriculum at the partner universities and to identify the specific priority
needs for future programmatic development, specifically in the area of curriculum. IU/Gaza has
indicated that their highest priority for this activity is the devel
opment of an M.Sc. degree
curriculum to build on the existing undergraduate curriculum offerings in water resources and
water management. Team activities during this planning visit will include meetings with faculty
from the collaborating institutions as w
ell as personnel from the governmental water authority
and community leaders in the G&WB region. Thus, in addition to the identification of
curriculum needs, the planning visit will also include time for initiating discussions focused on
outreach and rese
arch elements that the project will address during later phases. Exchange of
information
via

email, FAX, and regular mail will occur prior to the visit to increase the
effectiveness of the visit. The needs assessment will establish parameters for key elem
ents of the
program that will subsequently be generated by partner institutions.


Priority at the outset of the project will focus on M.Sc. curriculum development, but
attention during this opening phase will also focus on preliminary needs for research a
nd
outreach capacity development. At the conclusion of this planning visit, essential components of
writing assignments for the M.Sc. curriculum will have been indentified, and curriculum
development will begin immediately at the partner institutions. The
writing teams will keep in
touch via IT applications until the G&WB team visit to Purdue described in the next section
.

2. Gaza and West Bank team visit to Purdue

(3 weeks in Summer 2001)

One representative from each of the three G&WB institutions will spe
nd 3 weeks at the
Purdue University campus and relevant neighboring facilities to continue curriculum


10


development for the M.Sc. program working closely with the Purdue University team members.
The goal of the visit is to complete writing of the curriculum
and development of instructional
materials. The curriculum will be mounted on a web site and on a CD
-
ROM that will be made
available to participating institutions for trial use in the subsequent academic year. Other
multimedia material such as videos and a
udio will be compiled during the visit. A full
-
time
technical web developer and graphic designer will assist in this task.

During this period, team members will also participate in various support activities to
acquaint themselves with water sector techno
logy in the United States. Examples of such support
activities are: visits to water and sewage treatment facilities; review of Purdue University water
-
related curricula; a visit to the Water Resources Research Center at Purdue University; visits to
water r
esource demonstration and research activities in the vicinity of Purdue University; and
participation in Extension education programs in Indiana that are relevant to the project.

In addition, during the team visit to Purdue University, partners will conti
nue discussions
relative to outreach, non
-
degree technical training and applied research priorities for the next
phase of the project. Course modules derived from the M.Sc. curriculum will be developed by
writing teams from partner institutions over the pe
riod from summer 2001 to spring 2002 using
IT to exchange material developed in preparation for training activities scheduled for summer
2002 (see #4 below). Competency required by trainees will be identified, and will serve as the
core of training needs.
Competency will be arranged in modules which will guide training of
technical personnel in the water sector and for community leaders. By identifying competencies
required by participants so they can carry out their duties, both instructors and learners wi
ll know
precisely what is expected, thus the educational instruction becomes efficient, timely, and meets
documented trainer needs.



11



3. Pilot teaching module

(beginning in August 2001 or January 2002)

The M.Sc. courses developed by the writing teams durin
g the first year of the project will be
taught on a trial basis to students at the participating institutions during the subsequent semesters
in fall of 2001 and spring of 2002. University team members will initiate a structured program
for student feedbac
k on course content and IT/multi
-
media delivery and courses will be adjusted
accordingly. Trial teaching and evaluation of the M.Sc. courses will continue through the
remainder of the project lifetime. In addition to the course work, M.Sc. candidates at th
e G&WB
universities will develop research activities in partial fulfillment of degree requirements. Purdue
faculty, in addition to faculty at the G&WB institutions, will serve as co
-
advisors on student
committees. Research themes will be identified in cons
ultation with government water sector
officers to assure that the research projects and findings contribute to regional water resource
management needs. In addition to the research activities, M.Sc. candidates will also be expected
to contribute to the out
reach activities of the Program as described in #4 and #6 below. Thus
graduates of the M.Sc. degree program will be positioned to contribute effectively to problem
-
solving, outreach, and technical training needs in the water sector.

4. Training modules fo
r the water authority personnel

(2 weeks
-

Summer 2002)

[Note that items #4, 5, 6 are planned for the same two week period in summer 2002.]

Special courses designed for Palestinian Water Authority personnel and other public sector
water resource management

personnel (developed by the writing teams


see above item #2) will
be completed and taught on a trial basis beginning in the summer of 2002. A competency
-
based
course development and assessment process will be used for these special training modules.
Per
sonnel from IU/Gaza, including students enrolled in the M.Sc. Program in Water Resources


12


Management as noted above (assisted by the Purdue University team) will teach the training
modules. Teaching these courses will be integral to the “outreach” component

of the M.Sc.
program. Training materials will involve, but not be limited to, hands
-
on water safety and
handling, efficient use of wastewater for irrigation, wastewater management, pollution
abatement, etc.

5. Team visit and program evaluation

(2 weeks
as above
-

Summer 2002)

The Purdue University team will travel to G&WB during the summer of 2002 to observe and
assist with the outreach activities (see above


item #4) as well as to interact with the Advisory
Committee (see below


evaluation section) as

part of a program evaluation. A full
programmatic review, led by the Advisory Committee (see below), will take place that will
ensure that project goals have been met and that future plans to sustain the project are in place.
The university teams with inp
ut from the Advisory Committee will develop a comprehensive
evaluation instrument that will seek input via a written questionnaire, a set of oral interviews
with stakeholders, and an external evaluation conducted by a team from other G&WB
universities. The

input of M.Sc. students, water sector personnel, community leaders, and other
presumed beneficiaries of the program will be obtained. The goal of this assessment activity is to
assure continual program improvement and to set in place a process to sustain
the progress made
in the program. Concurrent with this phase, two workshops described below will take place
during the period.

6. Technology Transfer and Dissemination Workshops

(2 weeks as above
-
Summer 2002)

Current relevant applied research findings on
water resource management will be
presented by the Purdue team in a 2
-
day workshop format with local water authorities and
professors at the partnering G&WB universities as part of a final capacity building activity.


13


Faculty from other universities as well

as public officials from throughout G&WB will be invited
to participate in this workshop. The unique features of the partnership that has been developed
through the project will be described, and other G&WB institutions will be invited to join the
emergen
t water resource management network, which will be led by IU/Gaza.

In addition, a special 2
-
day public workshop will be conducted in Gaza during this period
to share the educational material developed during the course of the project with local leaders
and

the general public. This public workshop will be led by personnel, including students, from
the partner universities as part of an outreach component of the new Program in Water Resources
Management. The workshop will serve as an educational and promotion
al tool for water
management and safety.

Rationale for the Design and Approach

Water resources management is a central development concern for the population of
Gaza and the West Bank. Resident expertise in the region for water resource management exists
within the regional university system. The expertise and experience of the U.S. Land Grant
system, as represented by Purdue University, will be provided to universities in G&WB to assist
them in evolving an institutional capacity to take a coordinated lead
ership role in human capacity
development, training, research, and outreach for management of water resources in the region.
Universities can and should take a role as a recognized source of expertise in resolving water
management issues as a key component

of regional development. Through the project design
described in this proposal, these institutions will be positioned to take this leadership role. In
addition, the role of an Advisory Committee as defined in the proposal (see below) will assure
that the
progress made in the first two years of this project will be sustained into the future to


14


meet the long
-
term goal of establishment of a regional Center for Water Resources management
led by IU/Gaza.

Benefits to Partner Institutions and Local Communities

At

Purdue, the Program will strengthen the ongoing international activities in water
management. It will create opportunities in teaching graduate and undergraduate courses and
research activities under water shortage conditions. The training material that w
ill be developed
for the Program will be integrated in water management classes at Purdue. Additionally, the
collaborative work initiated in this program will give Purdue faculty the opportunity to engage in
future research with faculty from G&WB.

On the
Palestinian side, the program will effectively strengthen and support the strategies
of the IU/Gaza and the other affiliate universities (An
-
Najah and Bethlehem) as well as the PWA
to serve the water needs of the region more effectively. It will also assu
re a well
-
trained cadre of
individuals to lead the second phase of capacity building on the Palestinian side. In addition, the
ability to lead more specialized research on water resources management will be an outcome of
this capacity building program. The

outreach program led by the American and the Palestinian
program staff using the graduate and undergraduate students will improve the awareness of the
Palestinian communities in both Gaza and the West Bank regarding water resources.

Project Evaluation Pla
n and Role of the Advisory Committee

Continuous project evaluation will be an integral part of the proposed work to assure that
the program meets local needs and is sensitive to the changing water sector environment over
time. The development of educationa
l components will be competency based, and will clearly
state the knowledge, skills, and competencies that are required for successful water sector
management. The competencies will be written from input obtained from university faculty,


15


PWA personnel, and

the technicians who are beneficiaries of the program. These competencies,
which will be published in booklet form, will serve as the framework for outreach education, and
as a guide for the M.Sc. program. These clearly stated competencies will also provid
e the base
for program evaluation, and will provide a method for continual monitoring of impact of the
program on water management. Evaluation will take place throughout the project’s duration
using a representative 11
-
member Advisory Committee comprised
of individuals drawn from the
Palestinian Water Authority (2), community leaders (2), representatives of government
authorities with water and health responsibilities health (Ministry of Health, Ministry of
Agriculture) (2), and faculty from the university

partners in the G&WB (2). Over time, up to two
graduates of the degree program who are working in the water sector will also be added to the
Advisory Committee. The President of Islamic University of Gaza, the eleventh member of the
committee, will chair
the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will meet at least
quarterly, and will provide recommendations and leadership on program development, including
curriculum components, research needs, outreach and non
-
degree training priorities, and
program e
valuation.

The evaluation methods proposed (see item #5 above) to achieve project goals have been
constructed to allow continual feedback even beyond the two years of the project. Clients’ input
as described in item #5 above will be collected during and a
fter the first two
-
years of the project.
The evaluation will seek to assess the effectiveness and relevance of the program’s training and
outreach activities from the perspective of presumed beneficiaries (students, government water
sector personnel, commu
nity leaders, and the public). Data to be collected from students and
water sector personnel will be competency based, and will include participants’ technical
performance as well as feedback on subjects covered in the training. In addition, public feedbac
k


16


on the role of the program in improving the water resources in the region will be assessed as
described in item#5 above on a continuing basis. Quantitative and non
-
quantitative student
performance data will also be collected and analyzed.

The Advisory
Committee, in addition to the tasks described above, will also take
responsibility for seeking continuing funding support for the Program from government and non
-
governmental sources to insure sustainability of the program and its ultimate evolution as a
f
ormal Center for Water Resources Management at Islamic University of Gaza.

Key personnel

David Sammons

(co
-
Principal Investigator) is Associate Dean of the School of Agriculture and
Director of the Office of International Programs in Agriculture at Purdue

University. His office
provides administrative support and leadership for international activities in the teaching,
research, and outreach mission areas of the School of Agriculture. He has a wide range of
international experiences in more than 30 countri
es around the world and is the author of over
170 scientific articles and seven books and/or book chapters.

Rabi H. Mohtar

(co
-
Principal Investigator) is an Assistant Professor in the Agricultural and
Biological Engineering Department at Purdue University.

Dr. Mohtar received his B.S. and M.S.
from American University in Beirut. He earned an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering
and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Technology and Systems Management from Michigan State
University. His research and teaching inte
rests are in soil and water resources engineering and
the application of numerical methods to agricultural and biological engineering problems.

Mohammad R Al
-
Agha
, Associate Professor, Environmental Sciences at Islamic
University of Gaza (IU/Gaza), is the

founder of several environmental institutions and
research groups at IU/Gaza, the founder and elected Executive Director of the General


17


Union of Non
-
Governmental Environmental Organizations (GUNGEO). He received
his PhD in the UK. The author of numerous
publications on health threats of pesticide
and fertilizer contamination and ground water, his research interests focus on water
resources management and environmental health, and on policy formulation relative to
these issues. In 1986, he was the recipien
t of the
King Hussein Prize

for distinguished
young scientists.

Naim Iraki

director of the UNESCO BioTech Center at Bethlehem University.

Amer El
-
Hamouz

is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at An
-
Najah
National University. Dr. EL
-
Hamouz recei
ved his B.Sc. from Jordan University of
Science and Technology (JUST) in Jordan. He did his postgraduate studies (M.Sc.,
Ph.D.) at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in
Chemical Engineering. In the period 1992
-
1997 Dr.

EL
-
Hamouz was a member of staff
at the Department of Chemical Engineering at UMIST as an honorary lecturer. In 1997
he joined the first Chemical Engineering Department in Palestine as a Head. Dr El
-
Hamouz has published more than 14 papers in well known Jo
urnals and Conference
Proceedings and has consulted for British, Norwegian, and Palestinian companies in
design and environmental areas. His research and teaching interests are in sound water
resources engineering and the application of numerical methods t
o agricultural and
biological engineering problems. He was awarded the St. Andrews prize in May 2000
for his research proposal entitled "Preparation, Enhancement and Utilization of
Activated Charcoal from Solid Olive Waste”, the first out of 134 proposals
from 35
countries.



18


Nahed Ghbn (PhD):

Policy and planning manager (PWA), contact person for the
project on behalf of the PWA, appointed by PWA president (see CV).

Sami Hamdan (MSc):

Manager of the water data bank (PWA), administrative support
and water dat
a (see CV)

Institutional Commitment

Cost sharing contributed by Purdue University is detailed in the budget, and will include
faculty time without direct charges to the budget as well as partial institutional support for the
travel of project co
-
PI Dr. Sam
mons as indicated in the budget. Purdue University is committed
to the minimum cost share requirement of 25%. The actual cost share commitment over the life
of the project is 36.2% as shown in the attached budget document.